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(The following is a column which appeared on my web site, www.spatulacitybbs.com, on September 11th, 2001.  It is re-posted now in remembrance of then.)

NOTE: This column contains some coarse language. Back out now if such language offends you, please.

I got four hours of sleep last night. I’m fighting the obligatory yearly case of tonsillitis. My throat hurts like Hell ™, my body is racked with soreness, and – not to put too fine a point thereupon – I’m in need of a tube of Prep H.

You get the idea. (sigh)

So here I am on LBJ Freeway in Dallas, plodding my way through traffic, fighting hard the urge to fall asleep at the wheel, literally. I’m listening to our sports-talk/guy-talk station on AM, the Ticket (KTCK 1310), when the sports jocks there suddenly exclaim something to the effect of, “WTF…?!”. Apparently, a heavy jet has veered off course and slammed into one of the World Trade Center twin towers in New York City.

“Wow,” I’m thinking, “they’ll likely stay with this one all day”, and I immediately turn over to the news/talk station here, WBAP 820, for all the coverage. Yes, I admit it – I’m fascinated by carnage.

At that point, though, I’m thinking tragic accident. Somebody’s plane lost its hydraulics and careened out of control, and the World Trade Center, unfortunately, was simply in the way.

That was 7:50. At 8:09, my worldview – and that of 280 million Americans, I would bet – changed radically.

At that point, a second jet slammed headfirst into the other tower. At that point, it’s not just a major tragedy. This looks just a weeeee bit too organized to be a coincidence.

It’s 8:20 when I get to the office, and I meet my buddy and old Wingtip Courier dispatcher as he’s driving up. He hasn’t been paying attention to anything. We get inside the office, and I bring him and our other compadre up to speed on things (he wasn’t listening to the radio, either, which was surprising). I go into my office and try pulling up a video stream for any of this. It’s 8:25.

Fifteen minutes later, the message is clear: America is under attack for the first time in 60 years. Yet another heavy jet has crashed – this one into the Pentagon. Reports are coming in about multiple hijackings. I’ve read a report about a worldwide alert issued last Friday concerning our resident international terrorist, Osama bin Laden, Two & two are quickly starting to come together.

(Side note: Don’t let them tell you they had no warning. I’m not kidding about that worldwide alert concerning bin Laden. They knew. Damned right they knew.)

I can’t pull up anything on the ‘Net – and I have a T1 at work. The radio offers some details, but I want to know more. I run across the street to the CompUSSR to scope out the TV images.

And ohmigod – what TV images. I saw the second plane come in behind the first tower, and a plume of fire and deep black smoke explode out the other side. I saw the collapsed side of the Pentagon. I saw both WTC towers collapse – I had to ask someone if they’d collapsed all the way, so incredulous was the scene there. (A third building nearby would collapse six hours later.) I heard reports of yet another plane crash – this one near Pittsburgh. Rumor has it that the plane was headed to Camp David – we’re somewhere around the anniversary of the Camp David accords, so I hear.

Returned to work around 11:00 in a state of near-shock. Twenty minutes later, I received the go-ahead to go home. After a quick stop-off at the school to check on my wife, I arrived home and turned on the TV to Fox.

The images there were even more unbelievable than before. Fox had the direct angle on the second tower hit. They also had better angles on the collapse of both towers – although by that time, there was so much smoke & dust that one could hardly make anything out.

After a quick lunch, I sit down here to gather news stories, and I find this.

That’s right, sports fans. Here are a group of Palestinian squids laughing, dancing and cheering the attack on us, whom they call “the Great Satan”.

Compassionate people, those Palestinians.

Okay, now that I’ve bored you with my day, here’s my analysis: CNN early on was doing everything it could to avoid calling it a terrorist attack. But, Spatulaites & Spatulaettes, it’s too coordinated, too organized to be anything but. These events had to be planned months in advance. Certain people had to be installed at just the right junctures in order to pull this off – our airport security procedures, despite the fact that they’re handled by part-timers making minimum wage, are still way too strict. People who knew how to fly those planes had to arrange for passage on these planes. This would have been a major undertaking for simply one airliner – for four to have been hijacked in this manner and turned into suicide machines screams for the fact that this is more than just a Chinese fire drill.

So. Who’s got the capability to pull it off? Who has the money to train these thugs, place them right where they needed to be placed, and then turned loose? And who among them hates us enough to target us? Not to mention, who’s stupid-assed enough to try it?

If you haven’t figured it out by now, go back to school and take a comprehensive reading course. You think about it, there’s really only one man who qualifies: Osama bin Laden.

There can be no question. The mastermind behind the 1993 bombing at the aforementioned World Trade Center is so consumed with hatred for the United States that it sticks in his craw that he failed to bring us down eight years ago. So he decided to try and finish the job, gambling that we’ll be too chicken-shit to do anything about it.

(Second side note: Yeah, the Palestinians and the Taliban in Afghanistan are denying responsibility. Don’t believe the bastards. This is their baby.)

This is where George W. Bush needs to prove him wrong. Take this one to the bank, my friends: The Bush presidency – whether he believes it or not, whether he likes it or not – rides on how he handles this.

America is screaming for justice. More to the point, America is screaming for revenge. This is nothing short of an act of war. Yes, war. There’s been a formally undeclared one on us now, by most of the non-Israeli countries of the Middle East, for several years now. The Muslims hate our guts. The Syrians, the Iraqis, the Iranians – we’re their enemy. “Death To America” has been cruising at #1 on the Middle Eastern Top 40 for several years. They’re getting bolder, too – because they think we’re too cowardly to fight back. They think we’ve forgotten how to fight.

If George Bush has any balls, now’s the time to prove them wrong.

This is your solution, like it or not: Any country harboring terrorists – that would include Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, Libya, Syria, et. al. – must be wiped from the face of the earth.

Scramble 30 bombers. Five warheads each – six if the plane will hold it. Bomb the shit out of these countries – get rid of these raghead bastards.

So what if you take innocents out, too? This is war, people. They don’t care about killing our innocents; why should we give a shit about theirs??

And that goes for the Palestinians, too. Let’s do Israel a favor and eliminate those sons-of-bitches from the annals of history, as well. They want to laugh and make merry at our misfortune, they need to pay the ultimate price.

Show the world some balls, George W. Teach them that there’s a price for fucking with America. Demonstrate to them that we have not forgotten how to fight!

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A long time ago, I made a bet with a co-worker of mine concerning a former Cowboys quarterback by the name of Danny White.  (For the Uninitiated™, Danny White was the guy who succeeded Roger Staubach as quarterback after Roger retired.)  I made it with my bud after the infamous (to Cowboy fans, anyway) Tom Landry “No, no, Danny, no!!!” incident.

The bet was that Danny White would never win a Super Bowl as Cowboys quarterback.  And, needless to say – I won the bet.

Concerning another Cowboys #11 at quarterback, you heard it here first:  The Cowboys will never go anywhere with Drew Bledsoe as the starting quarterback.

More »

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Not quite as easy without Vinnie Young, is it, hombre???

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Well, PFWers, the games in the NFL now count – Pittsburgh intercepted Daunte Culpepper twice late to grind out a 28-17 victory in the NFL opener last night – and lo & behold, Widdle Terri Owens is heeeeeeee-ullllllllll-duh!!!!!  Terri’s widdle hammy was kissed by Mommy to make it better, and he’ll likely start the Cowboys opener.

Raise your hand if this surprised you at all.

Anyway, we’ll get to the Cowboys in a moment.  This week’s crack at the PFW starts with my Arlington Heights Yellow Jackets traveling to Haltom City to take on the Birdville Buffaloes.  Last time Heights played Birdville, the Buffs ended their 2004 season with a playoff one-and-done, 13-21.  And as I said Sunday evening, Birdville’s area-ranked this year, while Heights couldn’t even defeat Azle.  I’ll take Heights and I want 21.

Saturday, Turner Gill’s UBuffalo Bulls travel to Ohio to play Bowling Green.  BG’s gotten pretty good since Dennis Franchione’s TCU squad put the hurt to ‘em a few years back, so give me the Bulls plus 17 (Vegas.com, hereinafter known as “Vegas”, has ‘em at +23).

Also Saturday, 15th-ranked Oklahoma will host the U. of Washington at Memorial Stadium.  Washington’s supposedly a 17-point underdog at Norman, but after the UAB debacle last week, I’ll take OU and give you 7.

Bo Pelini and the 8th-ranked LSU Tigers host Bob Stoops brother Mike and the Arizona Wildcats at 3:30 Saturday.  Vegas has LSU as a 15½-point favorite, but LSU’s better than that at home.  I’ll take the Tigers and you can have 20.

His Rudeness will be in Fort Worth at Amon G. Carter Stadium Saturday evening to watch the 22nd-ranked TCU Horned Frogs take on the University of California at Davis.  Cal-Davis is an NCAA I-AA team, and normally such games, especially at home, are breathers.

But I see this game and I think of two words – Northwestern State.

One of the last times TCU played a I-AA team, Northwestern State came into Amon Carter and almost literally handed TCU its collective head.  This game will scare the Hell™ out of me right up until TCU’s up by 30 with 2:00 to play.

Sunday is Opening Day for the Dallas Cowboys, as they’re in Jacksonville to take on the Jaguars.  Jacksonville doesn’t have a great offense, but it’s defense is a killer, so that’ll keep ‘em in the game long enough to squeak by Dallas, even with Widdle Terri’s hammy now supernaturally healed – and Randy Galloway’s got a great take on that.

We’re back Monday or so with the recap.  In the meantime, feel free to rant on about your favorite teams.

Let the tailgating…commence! 

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Guys, remember when Babs Streisand, the Nose that Honks™, gor a little pissy that her hubby wouldn’t get to show his ass to the nation on free TV while portraying Ronaldus Magnus?  Remember when she accused the Republicans of trying, and I quote, “to muscle the First Amendment”?

Wellllllllllllllll, now the shoe would seem to be on the other foot, wouldn’t it?

More »

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(Hat tip to the SpatulaGoddess.)

Somebody fired a missile at the Airborne Campaign Finance Reform Express™???

And it missed???

DA…!!! – er, um, what a relief.

(Mr. McCool, bring me Korrioth’s painstick and get that pointy-eared Klingon half-breed up here on the double.  That p’tahk  is gonna learn to target if it kills him, fer Cthulu’s sake!!!)

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You either loved Steve Irwin, or you hated him.  You were either drawn to his infectious personality, or you were pissed off at that time he put his kid in danger.

One thing about him, though – he was never  boring.

Steve Irwin died today at the hands – or, rather, the barb – of a stingray.  Steve Irwin was 44.

I suppose it was expected that something like this would happen someday, but I always figured it’d be a crocodile that got him.

Steve Irwin will be missed.  The Realm™ extends prayers & condolences to Terri and the kids.

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WACO – Denizens, I want you to go look at this PFW report.  Substitute “Baylor” for “Iowa State”.

You now have my report for the game.

at Arlington Heights 31, Azle 34 (OT)
at UBuffalo 9, Temple 3 (OT)
at #10 Oklahoma 24, UAB 17
at #8 LSU 45, Louisiana-Lafayette 3
#22 TCU 17, at Baylor 7
at Dallas 10, Minnesota 10 (OT)

Heights could only manage a field goal in overtime.  Bad feeling about this team – if it can’t beat Azle, one wonders if it’ll beat anyone outside of North Side.

Turner Gill won his coaching debut in a snoozefest.

JoMarcus Russell threw 3 first-half scores en route to a massive route in their Little Sisters of the Poor game.

Adrian Peterson ran for 139 yards and two second-half touchdowns, including the game winner as OU squeaked by Alabama-Birmingham.

Tony Romo passed for a game-tying touchdown late in the fourth quarter, then Mike Vanderjagt missed two field-goal attempts in overtime in a sister-kisser.  He likely cost fourth-round draft choice Skyler Green his job, as Bill Parcells kept an extra kicker (Shawn Suisham) for just-in-case.  IYAM, Vander-choke is lucky to be employed RightAboutNow™.

On to TCU.  No two ways about it – Baylor flat-out kicked the Frogs’ asses.  Up the field and back down.  TCU was lucky to be down only 0-7 at half.

Jeff Ballard got his bell rung in the second quarter of what they were calling the “God Bowl” (there were t-shirts in the crowd asking the question “Who’s the Holiest?” (grin)), and was replaced by Marcus Jackson.  Jackson threw an 84-yard strike to Aaron Brown in the third quarter to put the Tadpoles up for the first time all night, then the Frog ground game managed to push down to the three in the fourth, where Jackson threw another TD pass to tight end Quinton Cunigan midway through the quarter.

TCU’s defense, flung around all night like a Raggedy Andy doll, stiffened in the fourth and made the lead stand up, thus preserving the nation’s second-longest winning streak at 11 games.  But they’ll have to be a helluva lot better if they’re to be taken seriously from this point forward.

The PFW returns Friday for another shot.  Probably won’t get it, though – Heights takes on Birdville, and they’re ranked in the area.  Like I said – if Heights can’t beat Azle…

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Oh, by the way…not that you were keeping track…but the Realm™ turns three four years old today.

Boo-yah.

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Back in the day (translation:  a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away (grin)), my dad toiled as a security guard for more than a couple companies.  One of his posts was this strip center in North Richland Hills – a 48,000 square-foot complex with one area about 15,000 square-foot of that.

It just happened to be down the street from a bowling center.  Bowling, at the time, was one of my passions.  (Still would be, if it didn’t tear up my hand every time I threw a few games.)

One particular Saturday, I was with my dad while he was at work.  And I knew the center was there, and I wanted to go bowling while he did his guard work.  So he gave me $20, and sent me on my way.

With the keys to his car, and an admonition to stay on the side streets & parking lots.

And yes – I drove.  And managed to not hit anything there, or back – as it turned out, I was pretty good at the driving thing.  (Mind you, this was the early ’70s, when there was far less of a paranoia about kids doing things that would put fuckhead busybodies in a tizzy today.)

Contrast that with this story, where audible gasps of indignation can be heard all across the Dallas-Fort Worth area and beyond.

More »

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Once again, a reminder:  If you’re trying to post comments – say, about your favorite teams during a PFW thread – and they’re getting thrown back in your face, and  you’re certain you’re not on my shit list, email me.

In your email, paste your comment so I can check it against MT-Blacklist and figure out what I need to tweak.

Thatisall™.

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